After what looked like a turning point win in Detroit last week, the Ottawa Senators returned home and dropped consecutive games to the Anaheim Ducks and last night to the San Jose Sharks.
And while Anaheim and San Jose are two of the best team in the Western Conference and probably the entire NHL, the Sens won’t be happy coming away with zero points over that two game stretch.
Last night against San Jose, the Senators seemed like the better team for large stretches of the game but every time they made a mistake, some of which were pretty big mistakes, the puck would end up in the back of their net. That’s the mark of a good team, I suppose- making you pay for your mistakes.
The Sharks certainly did that on Sunday night.
With the loss, Ottawa now sits at 4-5-2 on the season which is actually just two points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They have sputtered to start the season but they are by no means out of it. Plenty of games left to be played and lots of time to get this thing back on track.
It’s hard to know exactly what the biggest issue is for the Senators right now but along with suspect defence, I’d say they are more than anything, victims of an absolutely grueling schedule to start the season. If you eliminate the season opening game in Buffalo, the team’s the Senators have played to start the season have a combined 71-37-12 record.
There are no easy games in the NHL but there sure as hell have been some hard ones to start this season.
Ottawa now closes out the month with another tough one against the defending Stanley Cup Champion, Chicago Blackhawks. If they can find a way to win that one and get to .500 to end the month, that would be a pretty good result considering the schedule they’ve faced.
Following that game the Senators return home to play 7 of 8 at the Canadian Tire Centre in an extremely important stretch of games for this hockey team.
If they continue to struggle during that stretch of games, then you have my permission to begin panicking.